Football clubs cry foul as Revenue goes on the offensive

Leading clubs including Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Coventry have seen red after being cornered with potentially massive increases in their bills.

Mersey giants Liverpool face the largest leap, with its rateable value due to shoot up 370% from £350,000 to £1.65m as a result of re-evaluations by the IR’s Valuation office.

Other clubs affected include Coventry City which faces a 352% increase to £815,000, Everton have been booked with a 323% increase to £1.1m, while local rivals Arsenal and Tottenham will both see their rates go up 127% to £1.49m and £1.4m respectively.

However London-based consultants Wilks, which represents a number of Premier League clubs, said the proposed increases were ‘not accessible.’

Partner Roger Messenger, said the large increases were mainly due to television income now included in the re-evaluations for the first time. He added: ‘We are seeing red. This valuation has not been agreed by the football authorities and we believe the increases are grossly over-inflated.’

The rises will take effect from April but it is expected a number of clubs will now appeal against the price hikes, which the IR said reflects the growing commercial success of the leading teams since the last review in 1995.

PwC tax partner John Whiting said the increases reflected the fact many of the inner city areas where football grounds tend to be located are now regarded as attractive areas to redevelop, while clubs have also become more inventive in gaining the maximum revenue from the grounds.

He added: ‘Clubs now make a lot of money from hiring out their facilities for non-football related activities. However it seems Hector scores more frequently than most football strikers and he’s very good at penalties.’

The Valuation Office

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